Alexandria City Public Schools is serving 503 more students in the 2016-17 school year — an increase of 3.6 percent over the previous school year — according to the ACPS fall enrollment report.
The total of students enrolled with ACPS this school year is 14,670 students compared to 14,167 students last school year. The number is 99.4 percent accurate compared with projections made by Alexandria City and ACPS staff in the Long Range Educational Facilities Plan, a joint document used for understanding future trends across Alexandria relating to public schools. ACPS expects additional growth in January based on past trends.
T.C. Williams High School has seen 120 more students this year over last year. The middle schools have seen an increase of 78 students, while elementary schools have seen an increase of 305 more students enrolled for the 2015-16 school year.
“With more than 500 students joining ACPS each year, it is imperative that we continue planning with the City for a budget and capacity solution while advancing academic excellence. Families are investing in ACPS; we want to ensure that all students have access to quality learning environments and instructional programs as we move forward,” said School Board Chair Karen Graf.
The data show ACPS has a diverse population with students born in 127 different countries and speaking 115 different native languages. In 2015-16, 30.1 percent of students are Black, 35.5 percent of students are Hispanic, 26.7 percent of students are White and 4.7 percent of students are Asian. A further 2.4 percent are Multi-Racial, 0.22 percent of students are Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and 0.27 percent of students are Native American.
Approximately 57 percent of current students are eligible for free and reduced lunches, although this number will be updated for the 2015-16 year in early November.
ACPS has 4,200 English Language Learners (28.6 percent of total enrollment) and 1,516 Students with Special Education Needs (10.3 percent of total enrollment). This number is updated every December. Talented and Gifted (TAG) students are identified throughout the school year and are reported at the end of the school year. Last year, 11.45 percent of students tested into TAG.
All schools saw an increase in enrollment, with the exception of Francis C. Hammond Middle School. T.C. Williams saw an additional 120 students, while George Washington Middle School grew by 64 students this year. Jefferson-Houston, the only PreK-8 school in Alexandria, grew by 80 students. John Adams Elementary School saw an additional 72 students, while James K. Polk and Patrick Henry Elementary Schools saw a growth of 39 and 45 students respectively.
“The retention and growth in schools is a sign of health for our school division. These projections help us budget to strengthen our instruction, increase our rigor and support our teachers in the classrooms,” Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley said.